MILFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – Milford police are investigating after a woman was killed despite her pleas to the department for additional protection. Police are now looking into the timeliness of an officer’s response when handling the complaint filed by Julie Minogue about her ex-boyfriend.
That man is now accused of killing her just weeks later.
Domestic violence advocates say Minogue did everything right. She went through the courts, she contacted the police, and she reached out for help. They’re now looking at what other steps can be taken to ensure something like this never happens again.
In documents, Minogue said, “I’m scared he’s going to kill me.” That’s in regard to her ex-boyfriend, Ewen DeWitt, just weeks before she was murdered. Milford police believe it was DeWitt who ultimately killed her.
“She was seeking help, asking the system to help her, and it really failed her,” said Danielle Pollack, Policy Manager at the National Family Violence Law Center.
Milford police say Minogue filed a complaint against DeWitt on November 14, 2022, for sending more than 200 text messages in a two-day span and violating a protective order. On Nov. 18, Milford police say Officer Scott Knablin completed an arrest warrant application for DeWitt charging him with violating a protective order and submitted it to the Ansonia/Milford State’s Attorney’s office.
That same day, the assistant state’s attorney denied the warrant and sent it back to the officer, requesting additional information.
Milford police said, “As per our policy, Office Knablin had an obligation to gather that information requested by the Assistant State’s Attorney and resubmit the arrest warrant application as soon as possible.”
This week, the final arrest warrant was completed and signed, about one week after her death. Milford police say they’ve launched an internal affairs investigation into the timeliness of Knablin’s response and he’s now on administrative leave.
“We don’t know why it was denied because clearly, the situation was escalating,” Pollack said. “When there’s a lapse in the time response, in situations like this, you’re just leaving the victim out there by herself to defend herself.”
There’s a push to put stronger protections and laws in place. Liza Andrews from the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence says there are a few things they’re already planning to address this upcoming session.
“We want to look at things like domestic violence dockets so that cases of domestic violence go in front of the same judge, the same prosecutor every time,” Andrews said. “We want to look at the processing of warrants. We want to look at how the system handles violations of court orders.”
A group of women in Milford told News 8 they’re working closely with the family and legislative leaders to see what more can be done. Milford police say they’re meeting with state legislators and other agencies to better protect victims of domestic violence.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, there are resources in place. You can call or text Safe Connect, the state’s 24/7 hotline at 1−888-774-2900.
News 8 has reached out to the Ansonia/Milford State’s Attorney’s Office for a comment, but they have not responded.